In most cases, when you’re disregarding a traffic law, and an officer sees you, they’ll pull you over and cite you on the spot. However, with the emergence of technology that helps cities manage traffic, it’s become more common to see automated citations. This raises the question – “Can cops send you a ticket in the mail?”
Yes. An officer has up to 30 days to file a citation with the court, who then sends it out to you. These are often easier to dispute, as they leave a lot of details up to technology, which isn’t infallible.
PennDOT has invested in the use of traffic cameras at busy intersections, and high-tech radar style speed guns for local police forces. These are great tools but often result in an error.
For instance, a traffic light camera can get a photo of your car running a red light. Still, the images aren’t usually clear enough to prove whether it was you or your teenager driving at the time.
Another example is the speed trap systems used by officers. Officers deploy ENRADD and VASCAR systems from inside their cars or on the roadside. There has recently been controversy as they can be inaccurate over distances shorter than 500 feet. Further, their accuracy can be affected by light levels, weather, other cars in nearby lanes, and similar circumstances.
Police Pacing Technique
Another method officers often use to determine your speed is to pace your speed against their own. In Pennsylvania, officers must follow a car for at least ⅜ of a mile to pace speed before pulling someone over or deciding to cite them for speeding.
Speed stings are run over a stretch of road that includes officers pacing cars back and forth between highway exits. They’ll take the license plate number, and file a citation under the owner of the vehicle, even if they’re not the driver.
How Does a Citation Affect My Record?
If you’re cited by police and receive a ticket in the mail, you have to appear in court for a PennDOT Hearing board. If you can prove that you weren’t the driver in the car, you may have the citation dropped. If you can’t dispute it, you’ll be saddled with the appropriate points against your license, and served the related penalties.
PennDOT Point System
Pennslyvania Department of Transportation uses a point system to determine punishments, rewards, and severity of traffic violations. You can read more about this system in our blog.
In short, every moving traffic violation adds points to your record. If you pass six points, you could begin to see increasingly severe penalties for your actions.
If at any point, a citation or violation puts you behind bars, Szar Bail Bonds is in the business of helping you see freedom sooner. Contact us to discuss your options.